State Aid Law Blog

State Aid Uncovered by Prof Phedon Nicolaides

On a weekly basis Phedon Nicolaides posts critical analysis pieces on the latest State aid judgments and decisions on his blog State Aid Uncovered. Each article presents the main points of a court ruling or Commission‘s decision, places them in the context of similar case law or practice, assesses the underlying reasoning, and identifies any inconsistencies or contradictions.
Occasional guest blog posts by other State aid experts complement the State aid knowledge hub.

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Professor at Maastricht University; Professor at University of Nicosia, and Academic Director at Lexxion Training

- Affectation of trade ×

No Effect on Trade

A public measure of purely local character and which does not induce cross-border movement of investors or clients is unlikely to affect trade between Member States. Introduction It is rare to find a judgment that confirms that a particular public measure is not liable to affect trade between Member States. The General Court did so in its judgment of 19 […]

The Date on which State Aid is Deemed to be Granted Is not necessarily the Date on which the Actual Benefit Materialises

State aid is deemed to be granted even if the benefit cannot be quantified in advance and even if state resources are transferred at a future point in time. Introduction The precise date on which State aid is granted can be important such as, for example, when calculating the present value of aid granted in tranches at different points in […]

Territoriality and the Tax Treatment of Intra-group Transactions

A special tax rule can constitute the reference or normal system of taxation if it is “severable” from other tax rules and has its own legal logic. Introduction The application of State aid rules to the tax treatment of transactions between companies that belong to the same multinational group is contentious. During the past three years or so, the Commission […]

Security of Energy Supply

Guaranteed supply of electricity at fixed prices to a state-owned network operator involves a transfer of state resources to the supplier. Guaranteed supply of electricity at fixed prices confers an advantage to the supplier. Introduction Member States are allowed to take measures to ensure the security of energy supplies. There is a variety of such measures: imposition of obligations on […]

Duplication of Infrastructure Does not Promote Regional Development

A private investor is not interested in regional development. A private investor recoups its investment in infrastructure from revenue from the operation of that infrastructure. Duplication of infrastructure does not contribute to regional development. Introduction In 2015 the European Commission caused a buzz in the State aid community when it decided that investment aid granted to a small Polish airport […]

Public Funding of an Undertaking in a Closed Sector

Public funding of undertakings in sectors closed to competition does not constitute State aid. A sector is closed to competition when competition on and for the market is precluded by law. Introduction Determining when State aid does not affected cross-border trade is both difficult and tricky. But there is one exception; when the sector is closed to competition. A sector […]

A Real Estate Deal that Does not Affect Intra-EU Trade

Operators selected through competitive, transparent, non-discriminatory and unconditional procedures receive no State aid. When only a single bid is submitted, the market conformity of the outcome must be verified with comparative analysis. Activities are purely local when they are not likely to attract customers or operators from abroad. Update on Temporary Framework: Number of approved and published covid-19 measures, as […]

Tax Exemptions Authorised by the Council of the EU

State aid is an objective concept. When the Commission assesses a measure it has to examine its effects and cannot be bound by a decision of the Council. A beneficiary of State aid cannot entertain legitimate expectations simply because the Commission does not appear to object to the aid.   Introduction On 22 April 2016, the General Court rendered its judgment […]

Do Free but Compulsory Tests Confer a Selective Advantage?

State aid rules apply to measures which are either harmonised at EU level or are left to the discretion of Member States. The protection of public health is no sufficient reason for removing a public measure from the scope of Article 107(1). The fact that undertakings are obliged by law to comply with certain tests does not justify the subsidisation […]

- Affectation of trade ×

No Effect on Trade

A public measure of purely local character and which does not induce cross-border movement of investors or clients is unlikely to affect trade between Member States. Introduction It is rare to find a judgment that confirms that a particular public measure is not liable to affect trade between Member States. The General Court did so in its judgment of 19 […]

The Date on which State Aid is Deemed to be Granted Is not necessarily the Date on which the Actual Benefit Materialises

State aid is deemed to be granted even if the benefit cannot be quantified in advance and even if state resources are transferred at a future point in time. Introduction The precise date on which State aid is granted can be important such as, for example, when calculating the present value of aid granted in tranches at different points in […]

Territoriality and the Tax Treatment of Intra-group Transactions

A special tax rule can constitute the reference or normal system of taxation if it is “severable” from other tax rules and has its own legal logic. Introduction The application of State aid rules to the tax treatment of transactions between companies that belong to the same multinational group is contentious. During the past three years or so, the Commission […]

Security of Energy Supply

Guaranteed supply of electricity at fixed prices to a state-owned network operator involves a transfer of state resources to the supplier. Guaranteed supply of electricity at fixed prices confers an advantage to the supplier. Introduction Member States are allowed to take measures to ensure the security of energy supplies. There is a variety of such measures: imposition of obligations on […]

Duplication of Infrastructure Does not Promote Regional Development

A private investor is not interested in regional development. A private investor recoups its investment in infrastructure from revenue from the operation of that infrastructure. Duplication of infrastructure does not contribute to regional development. Introduction In 2015 the European Commission caused a buzz in the State aid community when it decided that investment aid granted to a small Polish airport […]

Public Funding of an Undertaking in a Closed Sector

Public funding of undertakings in sectors closed to competition does not constitute State aid. A sector is closed to competition when competition on and for the market is precluded by law. Introduction Determining when State aid does not affected cross-border trade is both difficult and tricky. But there is one exception; when the sector is closed to competition. A sector […]

A Real Estate Deal that Does not Affect Intra-EU Trade

Operators selected through competitive, transparent, non-discriminatory and unconditional procedures receive no State aid. When only a single bid is submitted, the market conformity of the outcome must be verified with comparative analysis. Activities are purely local when they are not likely to attract customers or operators from abroad. Update on Temporary Framework: Number of approved and published covid-19 measures, as […]

Tax Exemptions Authorised by the Council of the EU

State aid is an objective concept. When the Commission assesses a measure it has to examine its effects and cannot be bound by a decision of the Council. A beneficiary of State aid cannot entertain legitimate expectations simply because the Commission does not appear to object to the aid.   Introduction On 22 April 2016, the General Court rendered its judgment […]

Do Free but Compulsory Tests Confer a Selective Advantage?

State aid rules apply to measures which are either harmonised at EU level or are left to the discretion of Member States. The protection of public health is no sufficient reason for removing a public measure from the scope of Article 107(1). The fact that undertakings are obliged by law to comply with certain tests does not justify the subsidisation […]

- Affectation of trade ×

No Effect on Trade

A public measure of purely local character and which does not induce cross-border movement of investors or clients is unlikely to affect trade between Member States. Introduction It is rare to find a judgment that confirms that a particular public measure is not liable to affect trade between Member States. The General Court did so in its judgment of 19 […]

The Date on which State Aid is Deemed to be Granted Is not necessarily the Date on which the Actual Benefit Materialises

State aid is deemed to be granted even if the benefit cannot be quantified in advance and even if state resources are transferred at a future point in time. Introduction The precise date on which State aid is granted can be important such as, for example, when calculating the present value of aid granted in tranches at different points in […]

Territoriality and the Tax Treatment of Intra-group Transactions

A special tax rule can constitute the reference or normal system of taxation if it is “severable” from other tax rules and has its own legal logic. Introduction The application of State aid rules to the tax treatment of transactions between companies that belong to the same multinational group is contentious. During the past three years or so, the Commission […]

Security of Energy Supply

Guaranteed supply of electricity at fixed prices to a state-owned network operator involves a transfer of state resources to the supplier. Guaranteed supply of electricity at fixed prices confers an advantage to the supplier. Introduction Member States are allowed to take measures to ensure the security of energy supplies. There is a variety of such measures: imposition of obligations on […]

Duplication of Infrastructure Does not Promote Regional Development

A private investor is not interested in regional development. A private investor recoups its investment in infrastructure from revenue from the operation of that infrastructure. Duplication of infrastructure does not contribute to regional development. Introduction In 2015 the European Commission caused a buzz in the State aid community when it decided that investment aid granted to a small Polish airport […]

Public Funding of an Undertaking in a Closed Sector

Public funding of undertakings in sectors closed to competition does not constitute State aid. A sector is closed to competition when competition on and for the market is precluded by law. Introduction Determining when State aid does not affected cross-border trade is both difficult and tricky. But there is one exception; when the sector is closed to competition. A sector […]

A Real Estate Deal that Does not Affect Intra-EU Trade

Operators selected through competitive, transparent, non-discriminatory and unconditional procedures receive no State aid. When only a single bid is submitted, the market conformity of the outcome must be verified with comparative analysis. Activities are purely local when they are not likely to attract customers or operators from abroad. Update on Temporary Framework: Number of approved and published covid-19 measures, as […]

Tax Exemptions Authorised by the Council of the EU

State aid is an objective concept. When the Commission assesses a measure it has to examine its effects and cannot be bound by a decision of the Council. A beneficiary of State aid cannot entertain legitimate expectations simply because the Commission does not appear to object to the aid.   Introduction On 22 April 2016, the General Court rendered its judgment […]

Do Free but Compulsory Tests Confer a Selective Advantage?

State aid rules apply to measures which are either harmonised at EU level or are left to the discretion of Member States. The protection of public health is no sufficient reason for removing a public measure from the scope of Article 107(1). The fact that undertakings are obliged by law to comply with certain tests does not justify the subsidisation […]

How to Submit a Blog Post

Do you want to share your analysis of a State aid law topic? We invite you to submit your post on, for example: recent European, national or international judgments or legislation with relevance to EU State aid law; new developments, publications, hot topics in EU State aid law. The recommended length of the post is 500-2,000 words incl. references (endnotes). Your analysis will be published under the category ‘Guest State Aid Blog’.

Here’s how you can publish a post on the Blog as a guest author:

Step 1: Submit your draft to Nelly Stratieva at stratieva@lexxion.eu.

Step 2: We at Lexxion will review your draft to make sure its content and quality fit the blog. If needed, they will suggest what improvements you should make.

Step 3: Once your draft has been finalised and accepted, we will publish your post.

Submit your guest blog post

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